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Re:<eyebeam><blast> localization/other

At 08:24 AM 3/6/98 -0500, Ricardo Basbaum wrote:

'There are above two different meanings for "margins, marginal": 1.
Deleuze/Guattari's topological view of margins as privileged position
for creation, invention (production), as it has the power of the
membranes, interfaces, opened up to the outside (Carlos' statements); 2.
margins as hierarchic inferior, powerless position in respect to the
center where the position of power is located (Olu's statement). We also
could say that in 1. the subject locates itself in the margins as a
strategical decision, or at least accepts the place as important
position for resistence, to capture the  "devenir minoritaire"; while in
2. the subject is put against his/her will into an  excentric position,
forced to live a deprived existence, which he/she must fight against.'

Olu Oguibe responds:

the problem, ricardo, is that i never subscribed to the deleuze/guattari
celebration of the margin for two reasons: one, the fact that i have
known the margin and understand it in ways that are unavailable to mere
theory without concrete experience, and in knowing and living it
discovered that subordination is _the_ condition [mind you not _a_, but
_the_ condition] of the margin; and two, the fact that while there may
be freedom within the margin--and we have to bear in mind that that
_freedom_ is severely limited and curtailed and policed and ultimately
undermined--this freedom does not in any way translate into significant
power for as long as it remains in the margin.

which is why the ultimate goal of every meaningful guerilla activity or
campaign from jose marti's to yoweri museveni's--we may forget the
narcissistic and anarchic which in the long run never translate into any
dialectical advancement--is to exit the margin and take the center. the
goal of the true guerilla is to take power, and the one significance of
this ambition is that it is a recognition of the true locale of power.
on this matter, between fidel and deleuze i know who to take my lessons

as a serious political activist for well over a decade, i always had my
problems with the rhetoric of resistance and survival (cf. the rhetoric
of 500 years of resistance etc.) i profoundly believe that
resistance--especially when it is perpetual or for its own sake--is a
useless, powerless position unworthy of celebration. and so is the
locale of the third space or the margin. but none of these questions are
directly relevant to the matter of our designation in--and the nature
of--cyberspace. i am not struggling to take the center or, as pedro
[meyer] implied in his posting a while ago, to merely identify with the
mainstream. i guess my point about not accepting the stamp of
marginality in cyberspace is that it is a false, unwarranted, and
ultimately unnecessary designation. my point is that i am--we
are--central. why? because irrespective of my nationality or indeed that
of any participant in these discussions or any netizen in calcutta or
kampala, we all are contributors to the making of this medium and the
epoch that it defines. i am as central to the fashioning of the
discourses of communication and cultural interaction at the end of the
century as anybody else. a subscriber in capetown is just as important
as one in chicago. so, what is it that makes one the One and the next
the Other? why would anyone willy-nilly grant preeminence to a software
writer in seattle over one in tokyo other than the fact that one has
been designated the Other in real-space discourses and therefore, quite
uncritically and dangerously, we condemn her to perpetual Otherness
irrespective of her significance in, and contributions to, the creation
of these media? 

i read carlos [basualdo] different when he speaks of the need to
approach nationality rather cautiously; i read him closer to my own
position that the restitution of essentially imaginary yet crippling
territorial markers ultimately undermines the very gains of our
collective efforts to shape a new epoch. [ see
http://www.arts.usf.edu/~ooguibe/intzones.htm ]

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